I know I’ve written a few blogs on rejection over the past year, but let’s be honest, if you are a writer, it’s a part of life. If you want to be a writer, you have to learn to accept them graciously and learn from your mistakes, or maybe your not mistakes.
That didn’t make sense, but what I’m trying to say is you may not have made a mistake. There are so many reasons a piece of work is rejected, and it may have nothing to do with the quality of your work.
I ran across an interesting article in Writer’s Digest this month that listed the 5 types of rejection letters that agents send out. I added a 6th rejection, even though it isn’t a written response, it is fairly common.
- The form letter – Thank you so much for your interest in our agency . . . . I’ve gotten quite a few of these.
- The sympathetic feedback dump – I’ve received this one on a few occasions, and was happy to receive a real and personal response. The agent offered invaluable advice, and while it was a rejection, she was thoughtful and kind. Instead of saying this is a bunch of crap not fit to publish, she politely said, it’s not ready for publishing.
- The insult – So thankful I’ve never received this one. It’s hard enough to accept rejection without having someone rub it in with discouraging words.
- The ramble – You read it over and over and still aren’t sure what the agent is trying to say. Did they accept it or reject it? I have to admit one of my letters was somewhat confusing. While the agent said it wasn’t quite ready, she was very nice and offered suggestions to make it ready. Was she waiting for me to make the corrections and send it back? Was she just helping me out with future queries?
- The sales pitch – Your rejection comes with an encouragement to purchase a subscription to the magazine you’re pitching to. So you’ll know what they are looking for.
- The none response – It deserves an honorable mention. I think this is one of the worst. You wait and look for weeks and months for some type of response before you accept the fact that they are not interested and aren’t even taking the time to inform you.
Remember, even rejections can offer valuable insight to carry you forward. Use them to your advantage.
Something to think about.